The administration's warning followed a move to force Bush's hand on the politically volatile issue by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat. He requested a waiver to let the state buy drugs from Canada for state workers and retirees. He estimates it would save the state $91 million a year. The administration's response was an effort to keep the focus on safety, rather than let Democrats frame it as a consumer issue.
An overwhelming 71% of Americans in a recent USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll supported legalizing prescription drug sales from Canada, where the government negotiates prices with manufacturers.
The reservation "is a key smuggling route for drugs supplied from Canada to New England," according to the NDIC's 2011 New England High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Drug Market Analysis.